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J Immunol. 2000 Apr 15;164(8):4382-92.

A tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte from a melanoma metastasis with decreased expression of melanoma differentiation antigens recognizes MAGE-12.

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  • 1Surgery Branch, Division of Clinical Sciences, National Cancer Institute, and Department of Transfusion Medicine, Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Twenty separate tumor infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) bulk cultures and a tumor cell line were originated simultaneously from a fine needle aspiration biopsy of a metastasis in a patient with melanoma (F001) previously immunized with the HLA-A*0201-associated gp100:209-217(210 M) peptide. None of the TIL recognized gp100. However, 12 recognized autologous (F001-MEL) and allogeneic melanoma cells expressing the HLA haplotype A*0201, B*0702, Cw*0702. Further characterization of F001-MEL demonstrated loss of gp100/PMel17, severely decreased expression of other melanoma differentiation Ags and retained expression of tumor-specific Ags. Transfection of HLA class I alleles into B*0702/Cw*0702-negative melanoma cell lines identified HLA-Cw*0702 as the restriction element for F001-TIL. A cDNA library from F001-MEL was used to transfect IFN-alpha-stimulated 293 human embryonal kidney (293-HEK) cells expressing HLA-Cw*0702. A 100-gene pool was identified that induced recognition of 293-HEK cells by F001-TIL. Subsequent cloning of the pool identified a cDNA sequence homologous, except for one amino acid (aa 187 D-->A), to MAGE-12. Among 25 peptide sequences from MAGE-12 with the HLA-Cw*0702 binding motif, MAGE-12:170-178 (VRIGHLYIL) induced IFN-gamma release by F001-TIL when pulsed on F001-EBV-B cells at concentrations as low as 10 pg/ml. Peptide sequences from MAGE-1, 2, 3, 4a, and 6 aligned to MAGE-12:170-178 were not recognized by F001-TIL. In summary a TIL recognizing a MAGE protein was developed from an HLA-A*0201 expressing tumor with strongly reduced expression of melanoma differentiation Ags. Persisting tumor-specific Ag expression maintained tumor immune competence suggesting that tumor-specific Ags/melanoma differentiation Ags may complement each other in the context of melanoma Ag-specific vaccination.

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